Wine makes for a wonderful holiday gift, especially when you’re on the receiving end. But once the haul has been pulled in, you want to ensure that your newfound collection doesn’t fade before you can enjoy it. Take these steps to preserve your precious presents.
Beat the Heat
Heat is the ultimate wine assassin. Wine finds its happy place when stored at around 55˚F. Warmer temperatures speed up the aging process, while cooler ones can halt it. Additionally, widely fluctuating temperatures can ruin a potentially great bottle over time.
Be Cork Conscious
Even with the popularity of screw tops, the majority of wine bottles still use traditional corks. Maintaining a relative humidity between 50–80-percent helps keep corks intact. Extended periods of low humidity can dry them out, possibly leading to oxidation. They’re also more likely to crumble when being extracted.
Hit the Lights
If there’s one thing that wine despises almost as much as heat, it’s light. Ultraviolet rays don’t play nicely with the phenolic compounds in most wines, so keep them apart as much as possible.
Keep It Steady
Wine’s sneaky foe is vibration. Even subtle movements can shake up the sediment that has settled, which can change how a wine tastes. Continued vibration also creates kinetic energy, which not only influences the aging process, but could shift the cork.